The Causes and Effects of Making a Decision: A Personal Account of Dealing with Peer Pressure

I am going to share my story with you. It deals with peer pressure and popularity. In order for you to picture this close your eyes and let me walk you back a few years to a time when I was entering into Junior High school. All of the “cool kids” smoked cigarettes, and if you didn’t then you weren’t IN. I being young, decided to try it and that was the right decision at that time.

One afternoon, my best friend and I decided to go to the store across from our school. There, we were confronted by some of the members of the older and cool popular group. They started to talk to us. This made us feel good someone is interested in who we are. The, one of them said; “do you want a smoke?” At this point, it didn’t bother me. Until, my best friend said “sure”.

As he lit one up for the first time I watched in shock and then wonder hit me – will they ask me next? Well they didn’t but, my friend-said “Just try one, everyone’s doing it”. . My heart went into my throat because it was not something I wanted to do really but now was being pressured into doing.

The older kid of the popular group said “come on chicken!” All of a sudden chills were running up my spine, it felt like the world stopped turning and all I could hear was my heartbeat and my best friend saying “COME ON!” In a frightened voice I said “sure”. Then I took the cigerette that was being offered to me and lit it up. I choked at first, but overall I liked smoking. Because, after that day people thought I was cool. Was I? Probably not, but fitting in seems to take over common sense when you’re young and in this situation.

Now, as I look back on that situation I feel like such a jerk. If I could go back in time and do it all over again knowing what I know now, it would be a very different situation for me. The reason behind why I feel that way about myself is quite simple actually. Because I knew better back then, not to do anything that I did not feel right about or if I really didn’t want to do. An inner voice is a strong thing that we all have yet tend to ignore. All we really have to be is a good listener. I still got sucked in, still have regrets, but if nothing else experience teaches us everything.

So, beneath that dreaded flash back comes knowledge. I have learned many things since then. In general you just have to do whatever you know is right and should listen to that little voice in your head, the lump in your throat or the sweaty palms. All are great tools for saying “NO”. I must say that it was a good experience due to the fact that “nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

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